By Chris Stonor
Elroy Air announced at last week’s Dubai Airshow, a purchase of 100 Chaparral drones from AYR Logistics, reports Linkedin. This procurement has been noted in the SMG Consulting “AAM Order Tracker”. (see photo below)
San-Francisco-based, Elroy Air, aims to develop Humanitarian Aid around the world and this latest partnership will assist the process. Ayr is an aircraft owner and operator that provides logistics support to the Humanitarian Community, including the United Nations, World Food Programme, UNICEF, non-governmental organizations, and governments.
Kofi Asante, Elroy Air Vice-President of Strategy and Business development, told eVTOL.com,“More than a billion people are disconnected from reliable roadways. That means if you were to use a truck, you wouldn’t be able to accomplish these types missions.” Adding, “We’re pretty excited about this idea of being able to provide essential goods without necessarily needing to rely on infrastructure.”
The collaboration will see AYR Logistics commit to purchase up to 100 Chaparral aircraft over the next five to seven years to expand its business.
Serge Sergeef, CEO of AYR Logistics, commented, “We need highly efficient and cost-effective aircraft with excellent dispatch reliability that provide 24-hour, all weather operations, and perform vertical take-off and landing with pinpoint accuracy.”
Elroy Air told eVTOL.com, “The company has developed lightweight, aerodynamic modular cargo pods that can be pre-loaded by ground personnel and picked up by the aircraft before take-off. The Chaparral delivers its payload by lowering its cargo pod to the ground and releasing it after the system has landed. The aircraft can then retrieve another pre-packed pod to transport to its next destination, creating a bidirectional conveyor belt through the sky.”
Latest SMG Consulting AAM Order Tracker (includes Elroy Air)
Elroy Air’s aim is to gain certification and begin trial flights in 2022 before using its Chaparral drone for humanitarian missions the following year. AYR Logistics operate in over 45 countries in multiple continents around the world, offering plenty of locations for testing.
Asante continued, “A big part of this partnership is we’ll be working through certification in some of those regions.We’ll be working on ConOps [concept of operations] to understand more about the mission types and how we can service these communities in a way that hasn’t been possible before. We’ll be starting a lot of that work very soon.”
The Chaparral hybrid-electric VTOL is a lift-plus-cruise aircraft with separate vertical and cruise flight lift fans and a hybrid-electric powertrain for long-range mission capabilities, targeting a range of 300 miles and a payload of 300 to 500 pounds (135 to 225 kilograms).
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